Ricky, a proud anti-racist, is not afraid to declare what political parties pretending to be Black allies will not: Black Lives Matter, and the time has come for policy to reflect this.
America's criminal justice system remains broken. Mass incarceration remains a threat to prosperity, and the gun violence epidemic remains unsolved. This must stop.
Ricky, a proud feminist, supports women's rights in all intersectional forms. Women of all shapes, sizes, colors, religions, and sexual orientations deserve an equal seat at the table.
Ricky, a proud American of mixed African descent, steadfastly opposes the many forms of oppression and systemic inequities forced upon non-white and LGBTQI+ people.
Ricky believes that housing is a human right, and there should be no human being living within our borders without a roof over their heads. Everyone deserves a home.
Ricky believes in an America that fights to ensure justice for all, not just a privileged few; an America that is not afraid to declare to the world that yes, Black Lives Matter, and establish an economic, judicial, and social environment that properly reflects this reality, in both rhetoric and public policy practice. Talk is cheap; people have been talking for decades.
Action is what matters now, and Ricky means what he says when he will not support any candidate in any party that is reluctant to make this declaration in the open. As it stands right now, no matter what Ricky accomplishes in the world, he (and many others like him) remain(s) burdened with the dark reality that he could very well be one bad traffic stop away from becoming a hashtag on Twitter. Lives are literally at stake with regards to this issue, and to shy away from this matter is both a threat to millions of lives in real time—Ricky's included.
The time has come—now, more than ever—for this great nation to come to terms with the damaging lingering social, economic, and legal effects of the African Holocaust, known by history books as the Transatlantic Slave Trade. America must face a reckoning over these atrocities, and the time has come for the right people to face what makes them uncomfortable.
The Democratic Party has not done enough to properly appeal to and reflect the collective, intersectional voices of the African and Latiné-American communities. Racism is far from dead. Slavery has never truly been abolished. Instead, racism and slavery have become systemic, and we as a nation will never move past this if we remain unwilling to become uncomfortable and face the sins of our collective past.
White supremacy and racism remain a scourge on society, and we cannot progress if we do not boldly and directly address this deeply divisive reality within our nation. The privileged, on both sides of the political aisle, cannot be allowed to persist behind ideological, class-based walls of ignorance, nor can we allow racist counter-protests to the quest for equality to silence us.
For as long as they've lived alongside others here in the Americas, citizens of African descent have made clear their grievances against their treatment by society.
Today, these grievances are made even clearer with the arrival of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
We all have a civic duty to listen to our neighbor when he or she cries out for justice, and to work with them as they seek that justice, now codified and made available to all those who seek it.
Click HERE to learn about their platform.
Ricky believes in an America that fields a culturally diverse, well-trained, transparent, and accountable police force in its communities, one that contributes to the peace and safety of all people, citizen or alien, in a way that builds up the community, not destroys it. Our communities are safer when community authorities are accountable and just. Law-abiding citizens of all races, colors, and creeds are to be kept safe, not killed in cold blood.
Ricky believes in an America that is made great with a police force that respects, protects, and defends the rights and dignity of citizens and aliens; an America with police officers that treat the use of force—excessive or otherwise—as a last resort after all options are exhausted, not as an easy option; and most of all, an America that fields police officers that reflect the communities they are sworn to protect, serve, respect, and cooperate with. Representation matters everywhere and all the time, and we must implement President Obama's Report on 21st Century Policing nationwide.
REFORMING MASS INCARCERATION
Ricky believes in an America that stands opposed enough to the epidemic of mass incarceration to be willing to reform its prison system into one that emphasizes rehabilitation over punitive treatment; an America that believes that its children—and the children of the world as a whole—are its future's heartbeat, and rejects any measures calling that into question.
BANNING THE BOX
Once individuals have been properly adjudicated and served their debt to society, there is no reason why we should continue a system where it is harder for them to find work upon release. Ricky believes in banning the box, once and for all, and ending discrimination against the formerly incarcerated. Upon completion of their sentence, we must not continue to treat these citizens as criminals, nor should we discriminate against them in hiring practices.
As it concerns citizens that have been exonerated for crimes they did not commit, and were wrongfully imprisoned as a result of a flawed conviction, Ricky strongly supports the development of Wrongful Conviction Compensation legislation, where the wrongfully convicted are compensated a considerable amount for every year spent behind bars, as well as monthly annuity payments after release. It is not enough to simply apologize to the exonerated and send them on their way.
Ricky believes it's time to abolish the death penalty once and for all. Killing killers to prove to them that killing is wrong makes absolutely no sense, and we have seen that it does little to deter those crimes from taking place. Ricky believes that crime cannot truly be solved unless we address the root cause of systemic and demographic inequality. It is time to end cash bail nationwide.
A UNIFIED EFFORT
Let's be clear: All three branches of the U.S. Government—the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court—have a significant role to play in bringing criminal justice reform to the forefront of the reality we must create for ourselves and others—and so do we, the people.
Ricky believes in an America that, once and for all, is ready to address the tragedy of gun violence within its borders, free from the clutches of the National Rifle Association.
They have made their interests clear to the American public, and their inflammatory rhetoric has no place in a forum that seeks the peace and tranquility of the American people.
Enough is enough, and as someone that grew up less than five miles from Parkland, where the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took place, Ricky has seen firsthand what gun violence does to a community, as well as the 17 families that will never be the same.
Click HERE to learn about the SAFE Act.
Feminism is an interdisciplinary approach to issues of equality and equity based on gender, gender expression, gender identity, sex, and sexuality as understood through social theories and political activism. Feminist theory now aims to interrogate inequalities and inequities along the intersectional lines of ability, class, gender, race, sex, and sexuality, and feminists seek to effect change in areas where these intersectionalities create power inequity.
Intersectional Feminism is basically a lens, a prism, for seeing the way in which various forms of inequality often operate together and exacerbate each other. Intersectional feminism [centers] the voices of those experiencing overlapping, concurrent forms of oppression in order to understand the depths of the inequalities and the relationships among them in any given context.
Ricky believes in an America that is not afraid to label itself as a feminist country. He believes in the complete and total equal treatment of women and the dissolution of the patriarchy. For far too long, we have established a patriarchal society to the chagrin of the women within our borders. Many, due to what we once believed was an old way of thinking, still fear for their lives just walking down the street, due to a combination of misogyny and an antiquated understanding of consent.
The time has come for us to embrace the intersectionality of differing versions of feminism among the different groups—such as feminism among differing racial, religious, LGBTQ+, class, and social lines. We must listen to the words that our women are trying to share with us, and we must use our male privilege to uplift the women in our society. Equality between the sexes is a necessary goal, and Ricky believes in an America that will strive to reach this as soon as possible.
Ricky calls on white women everywhere to use their white privilege to uplift the lived experiences and rights of their non-white comrades. The Age of Karenism is a threat to society, and it is incumbent upon all white women to recognize not just their privilege, but their harmful role in the oppression of non-white women throughout society and the world over.
ENDING SEXUAL INJUSTICE
Ricky supports the original intent behind the Me Too Movement, and firmly believes that there is no place in society for sexual harassment and violence of any kind—be it man/woman, woman/man, man/man, woman/woman, and anyone/else.
He believes that everyone must be held to an equal amount of accountability regardless of gender, and all accusations must be taken seriously, objectively, and judiciously. The time has come for our society to pay women equally for equal work, and Ricky is proud to declare to all those willing to hear—he is a feminist, and proud of it.
The time has come for women to be better represented in media, music, and the corporate boardroom. The time has come for women to be better represented in leadership. The era of being seen and not heard must end.
The time has come for women to be better represented and celebrated in sports. Ricky is inspired by the rapidly-improving level of play in our women's leagues, and it is clear that "playing like a girl" is something to be proud of.
The time has come for women to be recognized not as mere companions to men, but excellent human beings in their own right. Women have their own story to tell in society, and their platform is long overdue.
This is why Ricky is proposing the PARTNER PROTECTION ACT (PPA), a more inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) designed to address needs also concerning the safety and protection of LGBT+, male, and migrant partners.
PPA will accomplish the following:
- Establish more effective accountability mechanisms, along with monitoring and reporting tools to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual or other gender-based exploitation or abuse;
- Ensure enhanced penalties for female genital mutilation and sex trafficking;
- Partner with the provisions within the AMERICAN DREAM ACT to provide additional protections to potential immigrant victims of partner-related violence and coercion;
- Partner with the provisions within the LEARN ACT to bolster sex education in schools;
- Partner with the provisions within the PEOPLE'S HEALTH CARE ACT (PHCA) to bring an end to the seemingly endless rape kit backlogs in hospitals and clinics, as well as the expansion of abortive and mental health care options for potential victims and patients;
- Partner with the SAFE ACT to close the boyfriend loophole once and for all;
- Preserve every existing provision within VAWA;
- Significantly invest in protective shelters and shelter programs for victims of domestic violence;
- Significantly reform and bolster funding for campus and military sexual assault policies; and
- Standardize federal age-of-consent laws to eighteen (18).
We are all safer when we are all safer.
FACING AMERICA'S SHAMEFUL PAST
Ricky believes in an America that acknowledges the disastrous effects of colonial imperialism on subjugated native peoples and works to exact the same justice afforded to its own residing within its borders; an America that is not afraid to declare war on poverty, not a war on the impoverished. Ricky is steadfastly anti-racist, make no bones about it.
Ricky supports full reparations from the federal government for its historical role in Amerindian genocide throughout the centuries, and for those programs to be managed by Amerindian communities themselves. Any and all Amerindian treaty rights signed throughout the centuries must be duly recognized and enforced accordingly.
Furthermore, it is clear that Amerindian and African Americans share a unique bond under the yolk of white supremacy, slavery, and genocide, and we must come together as a community to better enforce the reality that Amerindian tribal governments are sovereign and must be respected and recognized as such. For everything Ricky proposes, they will be deemed a failure if our Amerindian and African American communities do not receive an equal share in civil rights justice.
STANDING AGAINST OPPRESSION
Ricky believes in an America that rejects the notion that oppression of any kind—racial, sexual, gender, religious, or otherwise—should stand anywhere In this world, beginning with the one within our borders. We have been lax in properly holding ourselves accountable for this, and this has been a great shame upon this nation. As no one holds a monopoly on wisdom, Ricky believes we must encourage open dialogue and the free expression of information in order to better understand and liberate one another from the shackles of past societal mistakes. Solidarity is paramount to progress.
SOLIDARITY IN ACTION
Ricky believes in an America that stands with (and listens to) all oppressed communities within our borders, in both rhetoric and public policy practice. We must lift up our poor, children, women, LGBTQ+, and differently-abled brothers and sisters of all different shapes, sizes, colors, races, and religions, and reject any form of discrimination that places them on an unequal footing in society. We cannot continue to allow a certain few to profit off racism and classism. Everyone has the right to be at society's table, for as it is written, we are judged by how we treat even the least of society, no matter what their struggles are.
Simply put, Ricky believes in in America that has no place for hate, racism, sexism, LBGTQ+-phobia, ablism, ageism, and/or xenophobia, and we must eradicate fascism.
We have witnessed an alarming normalization of fascism in the last few years; the Republican Party has essentially stood by mute, while the Democratic Party has offered little more than political platitudes as opposed to a direct front.
We must reclaim our society from those that would see it further divided according to religion, race, color, sexual orientation, creed, and income.
In order to do this, however, we must identify the enemy. That enemy, alongside others, is fascism.
Learn more about fascism HERE.
In 2017, homelessness increased throughout the country for the first time since the Great Depression. The housing crisis continues to persist. When the Great Recession happened between 2007-10, millions of Americans lost their homes.
Our federal government had the option to save Main Street, but instead sided with corporations and the wealthy, choosing to bail out Wall Street. Trillions of dollars flowed upwards and out of the country, as many CEOs rewarded their irresponsible management of the banking industry with million-dollar bonuses. This crime against the working class remains unpunished.
Ricky believes in an America that rejects the notion that anyone living within its borders should ever be deprived of a place to call home. The time has come to do away with the practice of predatory housing lending in this country. As workers must take back control over the means of production, so should residents over the land upon which they live.
With the housing crisis continuing to deepen for the common citizen, Ricky believes a different alternative: the nationwide development of community land trusts and mutual housing associations.
Click HERE to learn more.